Psalm 69

Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.

Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me. I am forced to restore what I did not steal.

You know my folly, O God; my guilt is not hidden from you. May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the LORD Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O God of Israel.

For I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face. I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my own mother’s sons; for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.

When I weep and fast, I must endure scorn; when I put on sackcloth, people make sport of me. Those who sit at the gate mock me, and I am the song of the drunkards. But I pray to you, O LORD, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation.

Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink; deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep waters. Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me. Answer me, O LORD, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me.

Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble. Come near and rescue me; redeem me because of my foes. You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed; all my enemies are before you. Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none. They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.

May the table set before them become a snare; may it become retribution and a trap. May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever. Pour out your wrath on them; let your fierce anger overtake them. May their place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in their tents. For they persecute those you wound and talk about the pain of those you hurt. Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation. May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous. I am in pain and distress; may your salvation, O God, protect me.,

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the LORD more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hoofs. The poor will see and be glad— you who seek God, may your hearts live!

The LORD hears the needy and does not despise his captive people. Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them, for God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. Then people will settle there and possess it; the children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his name will dwell there.

In the New Testament, two psalms are quoted far more often than all the others. The first is Psalm 22, King David’s account of the crucifixion, and second only to it comes this one, Psalm 69.

As you can see, it too is laced with Messianic prophecy, telling how Jesus was a stranger to His half-brothers, how He endured the insults and scorn unbelievers heaped upon God while the sins of man were heaped upon Him, how the very people He came to save mocked him and humiliated Him, how at the cross they offered to drug Him with gall to lessen the pain (He refused it), and how at the end they gave Him wine vinegar for His thirst.

Some see this sponge of wine vinegar as the final cup of the Passover meal he had shared with His disciples the night before. According to this view, the cup He raised when He said, “This is My blood shed for the remission of sin,” was the third cup of the Passover, the Cup of Redemption.

The four cups of the Passover are representative of God’s fourfold promise to the Israelites, found in Exodus 6:6-7 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.(Cup 1. Sanctification) I will free you from being slaves to them, (Cup 2, Deliverance) and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. (Cup 3, Redemption) I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. (Cup 4, Acceptance) Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.

If this view is accurate, then as He sucked the sour wine from the sponge they lifted up to Him just before He died, He was saying, “I will take you as my own people and I will be your God.” According to John, who was an eyewitness to the event, Jesus asked for the drink knowing that all was accomplished, and to fulfill Scripture. (John 19:28-30) From that day forward, anyone who looked to the cross and accepted His death there as payment for their sins became one of His people as He had become their God. The Scripture He fulfilled was Exodus 6:6-7.

In this way Jesus announced the arrival of Phase One of His Kingdom, called the invisible Kingdom by some, that would be in the world but not of the world. Otherwise He had misled His disciples the previous evening when He said he wouldn’t drink of the fruit of the vine again till He drank it anew in the Kingdom. (Matt. 26:29)

And to underscore the importance of this announcement, The Father ripped the 40 foot tall Temple veil (actually a thick tapestry) from top to bottom signifying that the way to the Throne of God was now open to all. The sin problem that had required God to keep His distance had been solved forever.

But don’t overlook another important message from Psalm 69. When you and I get a problem, we pray for the Lord to deliver us, as if suffering some inconvenience for our faith is more than should be expected of us. Speaking through David, the Lord prayed that in His hour of trial He wouldn’t bring shame to those who put their hope in God. Then He promised to praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving. Why? Because this would please Him.

Think about it. Jesus warned us we’d have tribulation in this world. (John 16:33) Next time you’re experiencing some, instead of begging the Father to deliver you, try praying that as you go through it your actions won’t bring shame to those who put their hope in God. Then give your praise to Him, because you know that even in this, He’s working everything together for your good (Romans 8:28).

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